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Item 461 - Philip K. Dick Catalog 555 (May 2019)

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TLS signed “Love, Phil" with added heart and arrow,” five pages, 8.5 x 11, January 10, 1981. In-depth letter to science fiction author Patricia Warrick, in part: "I am watching 2001 on my SelecTV and I am taking a break to write to you again…When I saw the golden fish sign in February 1974 I realized something. I don't know what it was I realized; for some reason it did not then or since take place in words (i.e. 'Hey, I realize that—' etc.). In October of last year while I was making notes on my exegesis I wrote the following…" Dick quotes a long passage related to the "perception/awareness of essence identity" with a specific commonality between "USA 1974" and "Rome AD 45."

He continues: "My brain performed a meta-abstraction that is to normal thinking as 'two plus two equals four' is to 'two cows plus two cows equals four cows,' as I said in yesterday's letter. But what, specifically, did my brain do? What was the mental operation involved…Was my October 1980 analysis correct? Was it complete? Is there more that can be said? If my brain did perform a meta-abstraction on an order previously unknown to me, why am I not able to express in words what that meta-abstraction is? Obviously, it was not a verbal realization. Nonetheless it was a brain action; my brain performed an operation that it had never performed before. I am not willing to deny the validity of my October 1980 analysis of it, but in the weeks following this analysis quoted above I became more and more convinced that (if I can be pardoned for what seems to be hubris) I advanced in terms of human mental evolution one whole notch. Everything that happened, then, in March 1974 is based on that initial meta-abstraction, and I can't express in words what it is."

Dick expounds on the enormity of the effect on his brain, refers to a Gnostic term called "heimarmene," and explains how the job of Christ was to break "the rule of…ancient planetary powers," which he describes as "all powers in the universe less than God." He notes that the "real mission of Christ [was] to break their rule and set up his own rule in their place. The new law is one of agape and is based on the idea that the einai (esse, Sein, nature) of God is love (agape) and not noein (pure intelligence) as had been supposed." Dick agrees with Eliade that his mental change is of "anamnesis," although he admits he does not know how "this freedom manifested itself in a literal, real, practical way, a way that physically saved my very life."

After further thoughts on anamnesis and the golden fish episode, Dick refers back to a March 1974 experience: "But above all that pertains to March 1974 was my seeing Valis. What is Valis? The Cosmic Christ? I saw the body, the blood and the wound (as I said previously); I even saw the iron spear tip in the wound, and it is the Black Iron Prison. This is why I drew so much on Wagner's Parsifal in VALIS. I now (as of this month) know a lot more about Wagner's Celtic sources for Parsifal; I now know, but did not previously know, about the Fisher King who has the wound through both his thighs. It has to do with the Holy Grail. And, in turn, the Holy Grail has to do with Merlin. Merlin, according to my sources, was 'the prophet of the Grail.' We are dealing with Celtic magic, here. We are dealing with very strange things. The Grail contains the Host. And the Host is able to communicate verbally, as I say in VALIS. What is it, then? An information-processing entity very advanced and sophisticated? It sounds like the Torah ( Ideal with this in the sequel to VALIS, the Torah as a computer of some kind. The trouble with all this is that when you say it you indict yourself as a palpable madman." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.

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